Dare to grow

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“To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom.” ~ Bertrand Russell

On a hot summer day I was shopping for groceries at a supermarket and there was a special offer for an oil painting kit, complete with brushes, canvas and oil tubes. I felt an urge to express myself and bought it. That afternoon I painted little old houses on a piece of carton board. The houses resembled Bruges’s old town oldest cottages but that day it was unusually hot in Bruges, so I used warm Italian colours, under a sharp blue sky. After all, they say that Bruges is the Venice of the North. It gave me so much pleasure to be able to show how I saw the world that day.

The next experiment was a portrait of a girl. I painted it in the garden, using my fingers like a toddler. The girl is wearing a hat with long feathers.

It took me a few days to realize I wanted to be that girl, and the feather hat was in fact a bird. The bird represents all sorts of things going through my mind. At the time I was immersed in an intense inner search period, trying to decide whether to make a big career change or take a well paid but boring job. I consulted a psychologist who specializes in career management. She also noticed that the bird was sitting tightly, as if protecting the girl, still unsure whether to fly away or stay.

It’s been while. I’ve let the bird go. Sometimes that’s what you have to do to grow.

Give yourself permission to spread your wings. Free your bird up and be who you really want to be.